Veteran gets world's first total penile transplant

25 April, 2018, 09:37 | Author: Regina Lloyd
  • World first The young man, who chose not to be identified lost his genitals and both legs above the knee in Afghanistan. He received the world's first total penis and scrotum transplant in a 14-hour surgery on March 26 at Johns Hopkins

"While extremity amputations are visible and resultant disability obvious, some war injuries are hidden and their impact not widely appreciated by others", Lee told reporters in a press conference, according to The Washington Post.

Also, a fact that can make penis transplants lengthier in waiting is that a matching donor must be found. The surgery includes transplanting skin, muscles and ligaments, nerves, bone, and veins.

As with any transplant surgery, tissue rejection is a matter of concern. A testicle transplant raises some ethical issues because their genetic material would be the donor's- not the recipient's. "But in a second step, the patient will receive testicle prostheses".

Surgeons at Baltimore's John Hopkins University have rebuilt the veteran's entire pelvic region from the parts of a deceased donor. It involved nine plastic surgeons and two urological surgeons. The surgical feat is similar to a face transplant in the sense that, in addition to being highly complicated, it restores an extremely personal body part. "We looked at the defect our patient had and procured the exact same graft from our donor".

Three other successful penis transplants have been performed; two in South Africa in 2014 and 2017, and another at the Massachusetts General Hospital in 2016.

A man in the USA has become the first to receive a combined penis and scrotum transplant.

While there have been a handful of penis transplant surgeries, this is the first time surgeons have successfully transplanted a penis and scrotum and the intensive surgery took over 14 hours to complete. "I want to recognize the skills and dedication of the physicians, nurses and staff at Johns Hopkins that were essential to this groundbreaking procedure". The war veteran received the tissue transplant from a team of 11 doctors in March 2018.




Meanwhile, the transplant group which funded the transplant program has approved 60 genital transplant surgery as part of the program.

The surgery is the latest breakthrough for the Hopkins reconstructive team.

Doctors believe the procedure could revolutionize the lives of many, but they are not planning to perform such "transplantation for gender reassignment surgery". When he was chief of plastic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, he led a team that performed the first bilateral arm transplant in the USA on an injured soldier.

A doctor said a veteran severely injured by an explosion in Afghanistan and it is the first time when a transplant of a penis and scrotum has been done to recover the wound. However, just this Monday Dr. Richard Redett confirmed that so far the operation appears to have been completely successful, with the patient's recovery process being a milestone as it progresses.

The doctors are optimistic that the man will regain urinary and sexual functions, including the ability to have an erection spontaneously and achieve orgasm, as nerves regrow in the transplanted tissue. It may be longer before they know if sexual function has returned.

"It's a real mind-boggling injury to suffer, it is not an easy one to accept", he said.

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